Cutting B&B Startup Costs: A Complete Guide

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As more and more people are beginning to understand the benefits of owning a bed and breakfast, the industry is growing at a steady pace. With statistics showing that with the industry reaching a valuation of .3 billion in 2019, there is plenty of opportunity and room for growth. Starting a bed and breakfast requires careful planning and a sum that is serious and passionate about running one. Before embarking on the journey of owning a bed and breakfast, it’s important to understand start-up costs.

It can be easy to underestimate the costs associated with starting a bed and breakfast, so it’s essential to get a strong understanding of the costs up front.

In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of the different expenses you might have to consider when launching your own bed and breakfast.


start-up costs

Starting a bed and breakfast is no small undertaking. There are many start-up costs to consider, ranging from buying properties to furniture and decorating. The average cost to open and launch a bed and breakfast has been estimated to be between 0,000 and 0,000, but can vary wildly depending on property size and area cost. The following table outlines the startup costs associated with opening a bed and breakfast.

Purchase of property License and permit Remodeling and renovations Furniture and decoration kitchen equipment Plumbing and electricity Bathroom accessories Bed linen and towels Technology and security
,000 – 0,000 ,000 – ,000 ,000 – 0,000 ,000 – ,000 ,000 – ,000 ,000 – ,000 0 – ,000 0 – ,000 0 – ,000
Total estimated costs 0,000 – 0,000

Purchase of property

If you want to open a bed and breakfast, one of your first considerations is how much the property purchase will cost. The cost of buying can vary greatly depending on the property’s location, size, condition and any renovations that may be required. According to statistics from the National Association of Realtors, the median cost of a single-family home in the United States in 2019 was 6,600. It is important to note, however, that the cost of ownership varies greatly depending on location. In 2019, the median cost of a single-family home in the most expensive US states was:

  • Massachusetts: 8,200
  • California: 4,500
  • Hawaii: 8,400
  • New Jersey: 4,900
  • Maryland: 4,800
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If you are considering a condominium or other similar property, the purchase cost is usually much lower than a single family home. According to statistics from Zillow, the median cost of a condominium in the United States in 2019 was 6,000 – significantly lower than the median cost of a single-family home. Depending on the amenities desired and the area of the property, however, the purchase cost can run into the millions of dollars.

In addition to the purchase cost itself, there are also other expenses associated with buying property such as closing costs, taxes, and fees. Closing costs typically include legal fees associated with the purchase, appraisal fees, and other related costs. Taxes may also be due on purchase, state and local taxes depending on area. It is important to be aware of these additional costs associated with purchasing the property when calculating the total cost of opening a bed and breakfast.

License and permit

When opening a bed and breakfast, you will likely need to obtain a variety of licenses and permits. These vary from state to state, so you will need to contact your local offices to find out what applies in your area. Usually, the cost of these permits will depend on the number of guests your bed and breakfast can accommodate. For example, in Illinois, small B&Bs can pay anywhere from 0 to ,000 for the proper licenses and permits.

In addition to these license fees, you may need to obtain a permit to serve meals to your bed and breakfast. Depending on the state you are in, you may also need a food service or restaurant license in order to provide meals. The cost of these permits varies, but in many places they can cost around 0-600 per year.

You will also need to consider other permits and licenses, such as those related to health and safety. For example, you may need to obtain a certificate of occupancy in order to operate your bed and breakfast. This certificate usually costs between 0 and 0, depending on the size of your establishment.

In addition to the licenses and permits needed to open a bed and breakfast, there may be occupancy taxes. These taxes are calculated based on the number of guests you can accommodate and generally vary from state to state. Generally, occupancy taxes range from 3-9%, but could be higher in some areas.

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Depending on location, local businesses may also need to pay for a business license. The cost of this license can range from to 0, depending on the city or county.

On a final note, it is important to consider the cost of legal assistance when looking for licenses and allowing to open a bed and breakfast. Hiring a lawyer to help you sort through all the paperwork can be expensive, with some lawyers charging upwards of 0 to ,000 per hour.

Remodeling and renovations

Whether you are renovating an existing property to become a bed and breakfast or starting one from scratch, remodeling is a major cost driver. Renovations to an existing property can cost anywhere from ,000 to 0,000 depending on the size of the property and the amount of work to be done. A complete job can range from 0,000 to 0,000, while renovations to update and modernize the space can range from ,000 to ,000. Newer B&B properties may require less remodeling and therefore less expense.

Some of the renovation costs that may be required to run a bed and breakfast business include:

  • Kitchen Renovations – Appliances, Flooring, Cabinets and Lighting, estimated at ,000 to ,000 or more
  • Bathroom remodeling – tub, vanity, toilet and related fixtures estimated ,000-,000
  • Interior decor – furniture, artwork and other decorations, estimated at ,500 to ,000
  • Landscaping – to help make the exterior more attractive, estimated ,500-15,000
  • Paint and new wallpaper – to give the rooms a new look, estimated ,500 to ,500

These costs are estimates only and may increase or decrease based on specific property requirements. Additional renovations may be required to comply with health and safety regulations or to meet local zoning requirements.

Furniture and decoration

When opening a bed and breakfast, furniture and decor should be taken into consideration. This is an important part of a pleasant customer experience and will also depend on your budget. According to Statista, in 2020 the average spending per bed and breakfast room in the United States was ,039 , of which 5 was spent on furniture and 6 on decor.

You may need to invest in some furniture or decor to make your B&B the way you want it. Prices vary widely, but if you’re working on a budget, here are some of the more common items you might need:

  • Bed frames – 0 to 0 each
  • Mattresses – to ,000 each
  • Bed sheets – to 0 per set
  • Bedsidse tables – to 0 each
  • Dressers – to ,000 each
  • Decorative wall art – to 0 each
  • Throw pillows – to each
  • Area mats – to 0 each
  • Curtains and window treatments – to 0 each
  • Fixtures and lamps – to 0 each
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When it comes to décor, many bed and breakfasts like to create a certain style for their guests. There are many different types, such as classic, modern or eclectic. You will want to research the type of atmosphere you want to create and be sure to purchase pieces that match that style.

In addition to decoration and furniture, you may also need to invest in a few small appliances for bedrooms . This can include items such as a coffee maker, microwave, mini fridge, or even a hot plate. While this adds to your overall budget, it can also be a great way to make your bed and breakfast more appealing to your guests.

kitchen equipment

When you open a bed and breakfast, it can cost a good amount of money to purchase the necessary kitchen equipment. It’s important to research kitchen equipment to make sure you’re getting the best equipment for the best price. According to recent data from the National Bed and Breakfast Association, the average cost of kitchen equipment for a bed and breakfast is between ,000 and ,000.

household appliances . An oven, dishwasher, refrigerator and microwave are necessary items for a stunning kitchen. Professional restaurant ovens and ranges priced at ,000 or more. Quality dishwashers can range from 0 to ,500. The standard fridge/freezers will be priced at least ,000. A microwave can cost between 0 and 0.

Basic kitchen supplies . Many basic supplies, such as silverware, glasses, dishes, pots and pans, and utensils, are needed for a functional kitchen. Quality glassware and dinnerware will cost an average of 0 USD, while silverware can cost an additional 0. You will also need to purchase utensils, such as spatulas, whisks, and spoons, which will cost around 0. Pots and pans vary greatly in cost, but expect to spend at least 0 USD.

Small kitchen appliances . Other appliances needed for a home kitchen can include coffee makers, toasters, and blenders. These items generally cost less than more metallic kitchen appliances, with coffee makers costing between and 0 USD, tasters costing around USD, and blenders between and 0 USD.

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When opening a bed and breakfast, it is important to include the cost of kitchen equipment in the estimated budget. Depending on the types of appliances and supplies you choose, the cost of kitchen equipment could range from ,000 to ,000.

Plumbing and electricity

When it comes to opening a bed and breakfast, there are several costs to consider. In this blog post, we will discuss the cost of plumbing and electricity for your bed and breakfast.

First and foremost, the cost of plumbing will depend on whether you can hire plumbers or if you use DIY methods. If you decide to use a professional, you can expect to pay an average of 1.90 per hour. On the other hand, if you choose to buy your own materials and use DIY methods, you can expect your costs to be around 5.00 .

When it comes to electrical work for your bed and breakfast, you should expect to pay a professional electrician anywhere from to 0 per hour depending on the job. If you decide to go with a DIY method and buy your own supplies, you can expect to pay a much lower hourly rate of .00/hour.

Additionally, other plumbing and electrical costs that need to be considered include:

  • Hire an electrician to perform inspections and generate a report – 0.00
  • Installation of water heaters and other plumbing fixtures – 0.00
  • Installation of lights and other electrical fixtures – 0.00

In conclusion, opening a bed and breakfast can require a significant investment in plumbing and electrical work. Hiring a professional is more expensive than using DIY methods, but using a professional is recommended as they will ensure quality work.

Bathroom accessories

When it comes to opening a bed and breakfast, the bathroom fixtures in each room will be an important consideration – not only must they be functional and decorative, but they must be able to meet the needs of customers who may be traveling with special needs or preferences. Depending on the quality of fixtures you choose, the cost can vary wildly. Typically, you can expect to pay between 0 and ,000 per bathroom for fixtures, with the exact cost depending on the materials and features selected. The average cost of standard quality fixtures is around 0-700 per bathroom.

The main components of a fixture set typically include a toilet, sink, tub, and shower, with optional additions such as a bidet, medicine cabinet, and whirlpool tub. As each of these items can be purchased separately, it is possible to mix and match your budget. For example, if you’re looking to cut costs, you can opt for a basic toilet, sink and tub combo for around 0. If you want to invest in higher quality fixtures, you should expect to pay several hundred dollars or more for each component.

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While it’s a good idea to invest in quality fixtures for your bathrooms, remember that it’s not just the fixtures that matter. Installing fixtures correctly, paying attention to detail, and maintaining them well over the years will all play a part in keeping the bathrooms in your bed and breakfast polished and professional. Taking the time to research and consider your fixtures before making a purchase will ensure that you get the most for your money while creating a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere for your guests.

Bed linen and towels

When starting a bed and breakfast, it’s important to pay close attention to the cost of linens and towels. This can often be an overlooked expense, which can add up considerably. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the average cost per hotel room and motel linens was .27 in 2018. This can also be applied when estimating the cost to outfit a bed and breakfast. lunch.

When budgeting, carefully consider the type of linens, freshly laundered before each arrival, that you want and can offer your guests. Do you want premium linens and towels, or are you ready to opt for a more budget-friendly option? High-end sheets can range from to 0 per set while budget options range from and up. Three sets of sheets per bed are the recommended minimum for a bed and breakfast and costs can range from 0 for three sets of budget options or up to 00 for three sets of premium options.

In addition to linens, you will need to cost in bath and pool towels for your guests. This expense really depends on the type of towels you select, but even quality towels can be found at a reasonable price. Consider opting for the softer quality, like combed cotton, over fluffy towels of lesser quality. The average cost per towel is, on average, around to , which means it can range from around to over 0, depending on the type you choose.

Bottom Line: When starting a bed and breakfast, always consider the cost of linens and towels when budgeting. On average, the cost per room for hotel and motel linens was .27 in 2018. The cost of bed linens per set can range from to over 0, depending on the quality. The cost of bath and pool towels ranges, on average, from to per towel.

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Technology and security

When preparing to open a bed and breakfast, it’s important to consider the potential costs of managed technology and security features. Depending on your resources and budget, many options are available to help you establish secure networks and provide efficient services to a customer base. According to the latest B&B Global Report, here are some average US dollar costs associated with providing secure and effective technology and security technology:

  • Firewall and Internet Security: 0 – ,000 per month
  • Data storage: 0 – ,000 per month
  • Wireless network infrastructure: 0 – ,500
  • Secure booking software: 0 – ,000
  • Security services: 0 – ,000 per month
  • Web content and promotion: 0 – ,000

These costs may seem daunting, but with proper planning, you can minimize their impact on bed and breakfast business operations. For example, if you create a solid foundation for your security technology and infrastructure in advance, it can provide many cost savings down the road by keeping customer data safe and secure, reducing the need for IT management and performance optimization. Additionally, other methods of promoting your bed and breakfast such as word of mouth, reviews, and social media can help reduce the need for expensive web content and promotional services.


Setting up a bed and breakfast can undoubtedly be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be if you plan and budget carefully. With the right planning and strategy, you can create the perfect bed and breakfast that will attract customers. From buying property and licensing and permits, to remodeling and renovations and everything in between, the costs of opening a bed and breakfast can reach 0,000 or more . It is important to accurately calculate all the costs associated with starting a bed and breakfast and to ensure that you have the necessary capital.

By understanding the costs of opening a bed and breakfast, you can plan and budget accordingly to ensure your success in the industry. Work closely with local authorities and follow guidelines and regulations to ensure your business runs smoothly.